There is nothing quite like the stomach-lurching you get when you are cruising along, the sun is shining, you are running ahead of schedule, but then you see the dreaded yellow engine warning light come on! Just because I have a truck that is only about six months old now, doesn’t mean that it is surrounded by some magical force-field that prevents things from going wrong. Whether your truck is old or new, anyone who’s been in this business long enough knows it is not a matter of if something goes wrong, but more like when something will! With advancements in technology however, it is easier to diagnose what is wrong and the importance of a solid warranty to “have your back” in such instances is worth its weight in gold.
As I got ready to begin my ascent loaded to the gills up Cajon Pass here in Devore, CA, I saw that dreaded combo of the yellow warning light and yellow check-engine light come on simultaneously. Not seeing the red engine shutdown light, I was able to pull off to the shoulder at the next exit ramp and remembered that my 2018 Freightliner New Cascadia had a fault diagnostics screen in the new digital dash cluster. I was able to easily scroll through the sub-menus under diagnostics and faults to see there was a MCM fault registering, which read out in code form as “4077 FMI 14”. I was quickly able to “Google” the code and find the fault in the online PDF fault archives. First it suggested making sure there were no fuel leaks and upon confirming all was okay under the hood, I “Googled” to find if there was a closer Freightliner dealer than my usual one, Velocity Freightliner Fontana. I turned up in my search a smaller subsidiary closer to where I live that is also owned by Velocity Vehicle Group.
After determining it was okay to go on briefly in its condition, I continued on up the hill to deliver my load and head immediately to the newly discovered service center, High Desert Truck & Trailer. I gave them a courtesy call ahead of time to find out how busy they were, if they had trailer parking and to alert them of the code I was able to pull from the digital diagnostic readout on the new display. I was pleased to find that they would be able to jump right on my truck as soon as they arrived back from lunch, was told to drop my trailer at the nearby truck stop and head right on in. I have to admit that I was met with some of the best customer service I have ever received from a dealer service point in all my years of driving from this smaller, “diamond in the rough” Freightliner parts and service location. Narrowing down the problem ahead of time helped out a ton and the warranty on my New Cascadia "had my back", costing me nothing more than 3 hours of downtime to have the entire thing wrapped up and back good as new! They even took care of a couple minor recall issues as well!
With technology like VT (Virtual Technician) and digital diagnostic menus right in our dash clusters in these new Freightliners, it is allowing drivers to be more informed about the happenings within their engines. If even the slightest anomaly exists, multiple sensors are there to detect it and alert the driver of the issue. VT is an extremely helpful tool in the fight against downtime as well, enabling the truck owner to make an educated decision about whether the truck can continue on to receive the help needed further down the road. Although I had not at that point had my email set up as the contact information for my VT notifications on my new truck, I was able to use the digital cluster to receive comparable information to “Google” the info I needed to make that decision as well. Be assured I will be setting my email up this week for my VT notifications, since it enables me to be even more informed in the case something like this happens again. Let this also serve as a lesson that a solid warranty is just as important to have, since even simple repairs can be costly in this digital age of trucks. Knowing that the manufacturer “has your back” in the form of paying for these repairs when they occur is much more than them standing behind their product, it is their pledge to help lower your cost of ownership keep the money for these repairs in your pocket where it belongs!